SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) _ Rookie police officer Jimmy Lavin said he was ''very nervous'' as he carefuly opened an abandoned briefcase found at the Santiago airport. He thought it might contain a bomb.

The new leather briefcase contained not a bomb but $25,000 in American, Chilean, Bolivian and Venezuelan bank notes.

Lavin, 22, said he immediately reported the finding to his superior.

The money's owner was quickly found Saturday. Alcibiades Urbina said he forgot the briefcase after flying in from Arica, 1,250 miles to the north.

He told police he brought the money to start a business in Santiago.

Urbina told reporters the police officer refused to accept a reward he repeatedly offered.